New York Yankees: Jacoby Ellsbury and the Yankees are about to go to war

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 09: Jacoby Ellsbury #22 of the New York Yankees tosses his helmet after being thrown at at first base in the eighth inning of the game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on August 9, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 09: Jacoby Ellsbury #22 of the New York Yankees tosses his helmet after being thrown at at first base in the eighth inning of the game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on August 9, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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The Yankees have made some rather damning allegations on outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, which could result in the 36-year-old not getting paid.

Just a few days ago, the New York Yankees cut bait with often-injured outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, backing out of a 7-year, $153 million contract. With the Yanks decision to DFA Ellsbury — and also Greg Byrd — the team was initially believed to have still owed him his 2020 salary plus a $5 million buyout, coming out to a hefty $26,142,857 bill.

However, on Friday there were reports that the Yankees plan to withhold that final payment:

Currently, the details aren’t exactly known, but the Bronx Bombers are accusing Ellsbury of getting medical treatment outside of his rehab, for injuries that he has suffered since 2017. According to a report released by the NY Post on Friday, the outfielder used an “outside facility to rehab injuries that kept him off the field for the last 2 seasons.”

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The once-upon-a-time superstar hasn’t played in a game since Game 4 of the 2017 ALCS, missing all of the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Over the last couple of years, Ellsbury has dealt with an oblique strain, lower back issues and a torn labrum in his hip, having surgery for two of those ailments.

With his 2020 salary and buyout, the former 1st round pick (2005) was expected to clear waivers and become a free agent this offseason, though demand for Ellsbury would’ve been admittedly scarce. In his final mostly-full season in 2017 (age-33 season), the Yankee slashed .264/.348/.402 with 7 home runs and 20 doubles, plus 22 stolen bases (the 8th season he stole 20+ bases, out of 11 career seasons). He played in 112 games that season.

Looking forward

This will certainly be a tough battle for both Ellsbury and the Player’s Association, as they will most likely do everything in their power to provide a powerful defense. Unfortunately, if Ellsbury did receive medical care or treatment from an unauthorized facility, it seems likely the Yankees will be able to recoup at least some of the money.

As far as the outlook for Ellsbury’s 2020 season, it’s not fully known how ready he is to play, but Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that he’s at least working toward playing in the majors this upcoming season:

dark. Next. Yankees all decade team

In all likelihood, for a team to bring in Ellsbury this winter, a minor league contract would seem to be the most realistic for the former All-Star. Regarding the grievance filed by the New York Yankees, more information is sure to come in the following days.